Download High Frontiers: Dolpo and the changing world of Himalayan by Kenneth Michael Bauer PDF

By Kenneth Michael Bauer

Dolpo is a culturally Tibetan enclave in a single of Nepal's so much distant areas. The Dolpo-pa, or humans of Dolpo, percentage language, non secular and cultural practices, heritage, and a lifestyle. Agro-pastoralists who reside in the various optimum villages on this planet, the Dolpo-pa wrest survival from this inhospitable panorama via an artistic mix of farming, animal husbandry, and exchange. excessive Frontiers is an ethnography and ecological historical past of Dolpo tracing the dramatic changes within the region's socioeconomic styles. as soon as those investors handed freely among Tibet and Nepal with their caravans of yak to interchange salt and grains; they depended on iciness pastures in Tibet to take care of their herds. After 1959, China assumed complete regulate over Tibet and the border was once closed, limiting cattle migrations and sharply curbing alternate. while, expanding offers of Indian salt lowered the worth of Tibetan salt, undermining Dolpo's financial area of interest. Dolpo's agro-pastoralists have been pressured to reinvent their lives through altering their migration styles, adopting new monetary partnerships, and adapting to exterior brokers of switch. The quarter has been remodeled as a result production of Nepal's biggest nationwide park, the making of Himalaya, an important movie filmed on situation, the expanding presence of nongovernmental firms, and a booming alternate in medicinal items. excessive Frontiers examines those differences on the neighborhood point and speculates at the way forward for pastoralism during this sector and around the Himalayas. (vol. sixty two, 2006)

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Extra info for High Frontiers: Dolpo and the changing world of Himalayan pastoralists

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Yak are mentioned in the writings of Aelianus, a third-century author, who called them poephagoi, meaning grass-eaters. There are still wild yak that interbreed with domestic ones on the Tibetan Plateau, mainly in the Changtang Wildlife Preserve and the Kunlun Mountains, though their numbers are precipitously dropping. Domestic male yak live up to twenty years, while females generally live for fifteen to twenty years. Yak reach maturity at four to five years and remain sexually reproductive up to ten years (cf.

Milk production is highest during the seventh Tibetan month, a time of abundant forage. Most of this milk is processed into butter. A household’s herd may produce a kilogram of butter daily during the summer season, and visitors to the high pastures are regaled with every manner of dolpo’s agro-pastoral system 29 milk: creamy yogurt, cottage cheese, warm milk, and Tibetan tea, rich with fresh butter. Butter is churned by hand in a variety of vessels and stored for up to a year in sheep stomachs (dead sheeps’ stomachs turned inside out), which preserves it, albeit with a rancid flavor.

Thus, anthropologist David Snellgrove observed that in Dolpo, “bargaining plays as important part in the religious life as it does in everyday buying and selling” (Snellgrove 1967[1992]:15). 29 Before the Dolpo-pa leave for any lengthy trade expedition, village priests make the rounds from house to house, molding torma, chanting prayers, and calling down the blessings of village and household deities. The relationship between herders and their livestock is an intimate one. After all, households are built on these animals, some of which serve their masters for twenty years.

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